Local News

Wilson Celebrates 150th Anniversary

Posted November 22, 1998 6:00 a.m. EST

— Fifteen decades ago a tiny community calledWilsonwas created. Next month, the city celebrates its 150th anniversary.

"We have lovely churches. Our schools are good. We have nice residential areas. If you want to go to the big city, we certainly are accessible to it without all the problems of the big city," said anniversary co-chair Edna Boykin.

For more than 60 years, Boykin has been one of Wilson's most vocal supporters. In two months, the philanthropist and former council member will help local leaders celebrate the city's most significant milestone.

"That's the reason I think we should have this 150th anniversary, to show all the people here what we have come from and therefore what we can go forward to," said Boykin.

Wilson's 150th anniversary is going to be a big deal around town. City leaders are planning a year-long celebration that begins in January.

Planners say the town of 40,000 has a lot to be proud of. One of the oldest African-American churches in the south is there, and so is a brand new cultural center named for Boykin.

The city is also planning big things for a corporate park that is already home to two large pharmaceutical makers.

The plans aren't definite yet, but organizers hope the events they put together will attract both newcomers and long-time residents.

"It's important for us to know where we've come from to know where we're going. To be proud of ourselves, we need to know those kinds of areas," said anniversary co-chair A.P. Coleman.

The people around Wilson say the one thing that is helpful about the area is that it is not too small or too large to have a community atmosphere.